Posts Tagged ‘ sin ’

My Redeemer Lives!!!

I recently lead a devotional time at our church for the Student Ministry. Nothing long and crazy, just a brief time to help bring our hearts before the cross of Jesus Christ. For this time I decided to look at Job 19:25-27. This has been on my heart for about 3 weeks now, so I figured I would share it with all of you as well!

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!

Just before these verses Job says he wanted his words to be written in a book. He believe in what he is about to say. It’s so important that he wants them engraved in lead, with an iron pen, and on a rock. He wants people to see and read them forever. (Interesting how we now see it in Scripture!)

So what does Job have to say? After he dies he will see and behold God; his Redeemer, who lives. His fist statement is to declare this truth and that he knows it to be so. Job isn’t repeating what he had heard from elsewhere or pulling this out of a vacuum…oh no, his Redeemer lives and is true, so much so that this Redeemer will be standing on the earth. This is so crucial to Job that he is adamant about stating this so we may understand the severity of knowing what he knows. His Savior/Rescuer/Redeemer is pushed to the forefront. This comes from a man who is currently going through a severe trial. All his children, sources of income, his servants/workers, and health have been stripped away in a matter of minutes. And his close friends are telling him that only the wicked suffer like he is, so he must be in sin and at ods with God. Picture Job; a man covered with sores, popping them and trying to scrape the infection out and off of his self, covered in dirt, clothes torn and ratty, and in excessive pain and aguish (not one would we quickly gaze upon); all moments after losing everything: family, money, and job.

He responds to his friends and the trial by declaring and resting in his relationship with God. Knowing one fact brings his heart to fainting or collapsing. Verse 26; even after death I will see God, My Redeemer! My eyes will behold Him; someone else isn’t going to tell me about my Redeemer. No, no, no. I will see Him, Him standing upon the earth and me gazing upon Him fully for myself. Job is spent; his heart (meaning the whole being of Job; emotions, affections, actions, etc.) is wholly exhausted just from beholding God, his Redeemer. His Redeemer is the high point and meaning of life and Job’s heart longs and yearns for Him. Overwhelming, overpowering, great, remarkable, and awesome; these are all too small of words. They can only touch the surface of the iceberg. The sight of looking at the Redeemer is never-ending and immeasurable.

So the question we should be rushing towards is, “How can I know his Redeemer? Where is He?” Job’s Redeemer has made Himself known so that we may long and rest in Him as Job did, so that we may behold His face after our death. He is Jesus Christ, the One true God according to 1 John 5:20.

Jesus is the One who redeems His people; He is the One who has taken God’s wrath, He is the One who takes the judgment of sin for those who by grace through faith trust in Him. Jesus is the One who will stand upon the earth with all His people who sins have been paid for through His blood, He is the One, their Redeemer, who they will behold after their death and with their own eyes. Without Jesus, the only Redeemer, you will be in a horrible situation; worse than Job was during his trial. You will be at the full extent of God’s wrath. You will be accountable for your sins, and will pay the punishment, the wrath of God, for all eternity. That is really bad news, but that does not have to be your fate.

How I long to see individuals be filled with hearts that are fixated and cry for Jesus; that we truly love Jesus, truly desire Him, and want Him more than all else. That our hearts would faint and be exhausted at the truth that God – Jesus Christ saves sinners. He the Redeemer took on the wrath which sinners rightly deserved. Rejoice and linger on this reality of the Redeemer.

Grace and Peace

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Galatians 6:1-5 (NASB) “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and the he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.”

It is apparent at the outset of this passage that Paul is thinking about sin and how it is dealt with in the church.

This letter that Paul has written to the Galatians is primarily focused on exhorting and rebuking them for leaving the true gospel of Christ and turning to the false gospel of the Judaizers. They had fallen into thinking that they were still under the law and must participate in legalism in order to win their salvation.

Grace had been forgotten; and not only in their salvation, but also in their treatment of one another:

“Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:26)

The Galatians, in their legalism, had become arrogant and unloving towards one another. And so Paul brings before them the case of sin amongst them and how to deal with it in love.

And so Paul gives believers a 2-part instruction on dealing with sin in the body of Christ in love:

  1. How to deal with the sinner(s) among us
    1. a. Restore them (specific)
    2. b. Bear their burdens (general)
  2. How to deal with the sinner within us
    1. a. Looking (keep watch)
    2. b. Examine

We will look at each of these points over this next week.

Donald Drew: Thoughts For the Day

Many people who know what they are talking about would say that much of the contemporary university culture is rotten at its core, a statement that includes curriculum, teaching and morality. Campuses have been likened to brothels where sex of various kinds is widely and uninhibitedly available. Mercilessly driven by the media, the urgency for teenagers and young adults to have earlier and earlier sex has no parallel in British history. It is even assumed that is a teenager has not had sex, there must be something wrong with him or her….religious beliefs in general, anything goes: pick ‘n’ mix from a spiritual supermarket. The chameleon0like word ‘spirituality’ covers any way of making a person feel better, such as pop psychology, closeness to nature, the occult, astrology and especially New Age ideas. There’s plenty of ‘spiritual awareness’ (whatever that may mean) but little if any, spiritual alertness, discernment….this makes it easier…as a follower of Jesus Christ but one will soon be asked to justify their convictions.  – Donald Drew (emphasis added)

(Letters to a Student, p.17)

I just started reading this yesterday and came across this detailed description and felt as if I had to share it with you all. I have a heart for the college age group so I am looking forward to reading more of Drew, and how he counsels the heart of his disciple.

Grace and Peace

Book Review: Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen

By Derek

Awesome three part book and definitely a must for all followers of Jesus Christ. This combines Mortification of Sin, Of Temptation, and Indwelling Sin in Believers by John Owen into one complete series. Owen is a little challenging to read at times (much lofty speech, compound sentences, and older language when unnecessary). I would recommend if you have at least an hour to spend per chapter. The book itself is speaking about how to fight sin daily, and that if you are a professing believer and truly love Jesus Christ you need to be serious about fighting sin through the means that God has established: The Holy Spirit.

The biggest ideas that this will hit on include: The place to begin and start fighting sin is always from within our own hearts and that outside influences are not the cause of our sinning but are plausible. Also, that if we are professing faith we have to be fighting against sin, otherwise the fruit that comes from being an actual believer is not evident….”Be killing sin, or it be killing you!” Sin needs to be the biggest fight within a Christians’ life. If our hearts are not being affected by God’s power over sin, and our enabling through the Holy Spirit to defeat sin, we should not be expecting to influence others with the gospel with the same power and authority that Christ has called us to because the message is effective through good messengers. (Not perfect ones, but good is always better than hypocritical)

He also will delve into Temptation in the second portion of this book. The nature of temptation, what it is and what it is not. Where it stems from. How we can fight it, why we must fight it, and the tools in which God has enabled and given us to fight it. This is a challenging portion, especially the first couple of chapters when Owen is discussing the nature of temptation and trying to define it. His basic definition is: Temptation is an inward effect that can either destructive in nature leading to sin, or passive by just causing evil and suffering and therefore being an affliction or trial bringing sanctification. Heavy yet great.

In the last section of the book Owen  brings us to understand the effects and foundation in which sin operates and indwelling sin particular. This is not a force that just speaks to us and try to persuade us to do something, but is ingrained within us from birth and has tainted all of our faculties. Along with that indwelling sin operates basically as a law in and of itself that will do anything and everything against God! It is a law of being unlawful or disobedient. But it does it naturally and with choice, this is the functionality of how indwelling sin operates and if we chose to think differently or neglect this…we lead our walk not in faith and to light but to death and destruction!

Click here to order your copy today.

Jesus Never Sinned

By Mike Henderson

This week is a remembrance of the Gospel. God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, always loving God perfectly in word,deed, and motive so that He could die on a cross taking the wrath of God for rebel sinners. All so that we, the rebel enemies of God, could be reconciled to Him through a simple act of turning from our rebellion and believing, whole heartedly, that Christ’s death satisfied the penalty of God for sin. So to put this in perspective, what it means for us who are in Christ,  I want to look at 2 Corinthians 5:20-21,

 

              20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we  beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

We who believe, we who have been made new creatures, having been reconciled to God through Christ, are ambassadors for Christ. Meaning that God is making an appeal through us to preach the message of reconciliation to those who do not believe. “Be reconciled to God!” This message, this proclamation of sinners being reconciled, it presupposes that men are alienated from their creator. Let us who have been reconciled refresh our minds with this truth. V. 19 says we are to be telling men that this reconciliation is to God through Christ whereby He does not take into account their rebellion against Him, their trespasses. What a wonderful message, is it any wonder that Paul in his letter to the Romans says that he is not ashamed to proclaim this great news! This is why in v. 20 he says therefore we are ambassadors for Christ. We are those who have been reconciled.

And what’s greater is the means by which this reconciliation has been accomplished. v. 21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” What does it mean that God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us? First what is sin? Paul defines sin in numerous passages. In His first letter to Corinth he gives a lists of the sins that they were actually guilty of prior to their reconciliation,

              9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God(1 Cor. 6:9-10).

These are titles, descriptions of who these people were. In other words they were defined by these things. These activities were the desires of their hearts which sprung from the ultimate definition of all our hearts which Paul gives in Romans 1:21 “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Our sin is that we have denied God, we have refused to acknowledge His wisdom and goodness and beauty and have turned to our own ways and our hearts, our innermost being, have become dark, expressing itself in homosexuality, adultery, fornication, thievery, coveting, drunkenness, we become defined by the desires of our hearts. This has left us in a hostile relationship with God, we are under His wrath which He will inflict upon us forever in a torturous existence, look at what Paul says in 2 Thess. 1:8-9

              8dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.

Yet Christ never did these things, He never sinned! Christ never refused God’s infinite dignity and wisdom and goodness. His heart was never darkened! He was righteous, which means to be in a right relationship with God. He was pure, and thankful to God, and always affirmed in word and dead the majestic nature of God. This one who knew no sin, He became sin for us! That means that God treated Him as though His life was defined by homosexuality, idolatry, adultery, fornication, thievery, coveting, slandering,and drunkenness. He treated Christ as though He were in the wrong relationship that we are in with Him, Christ took God’s wrath for us. He was and is the righteousness of God, meaning the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of God’s nature(Heb. 1:3). And God treated Christ as if He were us. I was a fornicator, I was a slanderer, I was an adulterer and a drunkard. Those were literally the qualities that defined who I, Mike Henderson, was. Yet God  treated Christ, who never did those things, as if He had done them all! So that, and this is almost too wonderful to really grasp in this life, so that I, we, adulterers, slanderers, homosexuals, effeminate, drunkards, fornicators, idolaters; we unrighteous, those who never did right in God’s eyes, would become the righteousness of God! So that we would become those who represent God’s nature and glory and it is all in Christ that this is made so! So you saints, praise the God of our salvation, and the Son who has come under His condemnation because we have been reconciled to Him, and preach, preach to all you come in contact with! Seek to glorify God through our ministry of reconciliation. And to you who have not been reconciled, The Bible calls everyone every where to turn away from your sins, to repent, and affirm with all your being that by Christ being treated as sin for us is the only way you can be reconciled to God. This is what we remember on Easter. That Christ who knew no sin became sin for us. Praise God!

Lecture of the Week; Smedly Yates on How to Fight Sin (part 1)

This week’s lecturer is Smedly Yates and his lecture is entitled,”How to Fight Sin.” Click here to download.

Our Totaled Life and God’s Electing Love

By Mike Henderson

How are men saved? The Bible teaches that men are evil, and that God sovereignly elects those whom He will save(Rom. 3 & Rom. 9). Pertaining to man’s sinful state I have heard some teach that the totaled life of sinners taught in Rom. 3 is a summation, meaning when all is said and done our wickedness outweighs our righteousness because we are inclined to do evil, rather than men being only capable of wicked acts. If that is true then in Mark 10:18 when Jesus says only God is good we are not to think of His every act. None would say this, so then if only God is good, meaning in every act, then it seems only appropriate to reason that we all are wicked in every act. Being completely wicked we cannot do anything to aid in our salvation.

We are told here in Mark 10 it is impossible for people to save themselves, for we cannot offer anything up to God to further our condition with Him. This must include even the faith that is a prerequisite for salvation, for faith is a good act if it makes one right with God. This is in fact exactly what scripture teaches (Eph. 2:8-9). We must then examine the doctrine of God’s sovereign electing grace. Some would have us believe that God elects those who believe according to a foreknowledge of their determinative will. But if God is in any way subjected to another will then God is not sovereign. However neither this premise nor the logical conclusion is acceptable. Man is totaled (Eph. 2:1-3) and God is sovereign (Isa. 40:13-14). But what is impossible for men is possible for God. For since men are totally incapable of saving themselves God must, as sovereign over all, overcome our heard hearted resistance to His grace, for if He does not then none would be saved, and this is precisely what He does (2 Thess. 2:13). Let us all conform our minds to the Word and praise the Sovereign for His unconditional, overpowering, electing love which was procured in the absorbing of God’s wrath toward us who believe by the sacrificial death of His perfect Son, the Lord Jesus.

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